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Sunday 30 October 2016


Petula Clark: Downtown

A super singalong on BBC Four on Friday! 

It Started with a Kiss – or rather it started for us with a bottle of Chilean Shiraz followed by a fabulous edition of Top Of The Pops 1982, from 15th July, which began with Errol and Hot Chocolate and their famous song. After several weeks of having to contend with the constipated singing faces of Brian Ferry and Martin Fry (get the look!), it was great to have some good tunes for a change. Errol was followed by, among others, Dexy’s Come On Eileen, the perennial Cliff Richard, David Essex’s Night Clubbing and Irene Cara’s Fame (although I have never quite understood the line in that song about qualifying for a pilots licence).

Later, there was a recorded concert with the now 83 year old Petula Clark who has brought out a new LP. Goodness, she is even more perennial than Cliff Richard. My great grandfather used to like her and he died in 1960. Her voice is a bit thin now, but the music and band were superb. She kept us waiting for her ultimate singalong song but it duly arrived near the end. I then blotted my copy book by reprising our own version of the lyrics from twenty years ago. It went something like this.

When you’re in bed and Mummy’s snoring beside you
You can always go, downstairs
When you are cold and Mummy’s got all the duvet
There’s a place I know, downstairs
You can lie down on the settee, and turn on the fire
Youll be warm and quiet, it’s all that you desire
How can you lose?
The night is much kinder there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
And go downstairs
Sleeping on the settee, downstairs
Sleeping so peacefully
Everything’s waiting for you.

When you’re in bed and Mummy’s been eating garlic
There’s a place to go, downstairs
Onions and curry, chilli, tikka masala
Seems to help I know, downstairs
You can open all the windows and the air is clear and nice
Fill your lungs with freshness, its free of herbs and spice
How can you lose?
The night is much cleaner there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
And go downstairs
Have a weak cup of tea, downstairs
Mild crackers, plain toast for me, downstairs
Everything’s waiting for you.

I was lucky not to end up on the settee again that night.  

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